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Red Shirts Surrender To Royal Thai Police Headquarters

Surrender in Bangkok - Ratchaprasong is clear

Andrew Wood, eTN ambassador in Bangkok  May 19, 2010

Seven Red Shirt leaders surrendered to police at the Royal Thai Police headquarters at about 1:30 pm on Wednesday.

"Ratchaprasong is clear, [the] army say[s] their operations are completed. Fires are still breaking out, including CentralWorld shopping center, as hard core protesters torch previously placed tires soaked in petrol around Bangkok. It may be all over soon if these pockets of Red Shirts can be cleared. Let's hope so," said Andrew Woods, eTN ambassador.

The Red Shirts were not satisfied with their leaders' decision to surrender and end their rally. They set fire to various spots around the rally site, according to television reports.

Billows of smoke were seen blowing out from in front of the CentralWorld department store. Some of the protesters smashed glass panes around the department stores, while others threw fire bombs into the first floor of the building.

At the Sala Daeng intersection, the protesters destroyed telephone booths, advertisement signs, traffic signs, and others.

They are Jatuporn Prompan, Natthawut Saikua, Weng Tojirakarn, Wiphuthalaeeng Pattanaphumthai, Korkaew Phikulthong, Yosvaris Chuklom, and Nisit Sinthuprai.

Red Shirt leader, Jatuporn Prompan, announced from the stage at 1:15 pm that that he and other leaders would surrender to prevent further losses.

"I apologize to you all, but I don't want any more losses. I am devastated, too. We will surrender," he said.

He also announced the ending of the anti-government protest.

Shortly before the announcement, opposition chief whip, Witthaya Buranasiri, said seven leaders of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) will surrender to police on Wednesday afternoon.

Senator Lertrat Ratanavanich said earlier that UDD leader and Puea Thai Party MP Jatuporn had contacted the opposition chief whip and said he wanted to surrender to the police at 1:30 pm today.

He said a group of Puea Thai MPs would go to the Royal Thai Police headquarters to witness the surrender.

"I believe other UDD core members, besides Mr. Jatuporn, will turn themselves in to the police as well," he added.

However, thousands of Red Shirts in Khon Kaen and Udon Thani refused to give in and raided the city halls to show dissatisfaction over the government's crackdown on UDD protesters in Bangkok, according to television reports.

In Khon Kaen, more than 1,000 Red Shirts broke through a cordon of police and administrative officials at the main gate of the city hall.

They brought with them car tires and fuel and threatened to set fire to the city hall if the government did not respond to their demand for it to dissolve the House of Representatives.

In Udon Thani, more than 5,000 Red Shirts broke through barricades and a cordon of police, soldiers, and volunteers and entered city hall.

Surrender in Bangkok - Ratchaprasong is clear
Pic from Andrew Woods, GM of the the Chaophyapark Hotel Bangkok Andrew is an eTN Ambassador

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